Microsoft Proposes Licensing Internet Access

Microsoft Executive proposes the creation and imposition of a license to use the web.  “The State should have power to block individual computers from connecting to world wide web,” claims Scott Charney

Paul Joseph Watson

A new proposal by a top Microsoft executive would open the door for government licensing to access the Internet, with authorities being empowered to block individual computers from connecting to the world wide web under the pretext of preventing malware attacks.

Microsoft Executive, Scott Charney

Speaking to the ISSE 2010 computer security conference in Berlin yesterday, Scott Charney, Microsoft vice president of Trustworthy Computing, said that cybersecurity should mirror public health safety laws, with infected PC’s being “quarantined” by government decree and prevented from accessing the Internet.

“If a device is known to be a danger to the internet, the user should be notified and the device should be cleaned before it is allowed unfettered access to the internet, minimizing the risk of the infected device contaminating other devices,” Charney said.

Charney said the system would be a “global collective defense” run by corporations and government and would “track and control” people’s computers similar to how government health bodies track diseases.

Invoking the threat of malware attacks as a means of dissuading or blocking people from using the Internet is becoming a common theme – but it’s one tainted with political overtones.

At the launch of the Obama administration’s cybersecurity agenda earlier this year, Democrats attempted to claim that the independent news website The Drudge Report was serving malware, an incident Senator Jim Inhofe described as a deliberate ploy “to discourage people from using Drudge”.

Under the new proposals, not only would the government cite the threat of malware to prevent people from visiting Drudge, they would be blocked from the entire world wide web, creating a dangerous precedent by giving government the power to dictate whether people can use the Internet and effectively opening the door for a licensing system to be introduced.

Similar to how vehicle inspections are mandatory for cars in some states before they can be driven, are we entering a phase where you will have to obtain a PC health check before a government IP czar will issue you with a license, or an Internet ID card, allowing you to access the web?

Of course, the only way companies or the government could know when your system becomes infected with malware is to have some kind of mandatory software or firewall installed on every PC which sends data to a centralized hub, greasing the skids for warrantless surveillance and other invasions of privacy.

Microsoft has been at the forefront of a bid to introduce Internet licensing as a means of controlling how people access and use the world wide web, an effort that has intensified over the course of the past year.

During this year’s Economic Summit in Davos, Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer for Microsoft, said that the Internet needed to be policed by means of introducing licenses similar to drivers licenses – in other words government permission to use the web.

“We need a kind of World Health Organization for the Internet,” he said, mirroring Charney’s rhetoric about controlling cyberspace in a public health context.

“If you want to drive a car you have to have a license to say that you are capable of driving a car, the car has to pass a test to say it is fit to drive and you have to have insurance.”

“Don’t be surprised if it becomes reality in the near future,” wrote ZD Net’s Doug Hanchard on the introduction of Internet licensing . “Every device connected to the Internet will have a permanent license plate and without it, the network won’t allow you to log in.”

Just days after Mundie’s call for Internet licensing, Time Magazine jumped on the bandwagon, publishing an article by Barbara Kiviat, one of Mundie’s fellow attendees at the elitist confab, in which she wrote that the Internet was too lawless and needed “the people in charge” to start policing it with licensing measures.

Shortly after Time Magazine started peddling the proposal, the New York Times soon followed suit with a blog entitled Driver’s Licenses for the Internet?, which merely parroted Kiviat’s talking points.

Of course there’s a very good reason for Time Magazine and the New York Times to be pushing for measures that would undoubtedly lead to a chilling effect on free speech which would in turn eviscerate the blogosphere.

Like the rest of the mainstream print dinosaurs, physical sales of Time Magazine have been plummeting, partly as a result of more people getting their news for free on the web from independent sources. Ad sales for the New York Times sunk by no less than 28 per cent last year with subscriptions and street sales also falling.

As we have documented, the entire cybersecurity agenda is couched in fearsome rhetoric about virus attacks, but its ultimate goal is to hand the Obama administration similar powers over the Internet to those enjoyed by Communist China, which are routinely exercised not for genuine security concerns, but to oppress political adversaries, locate dissidents, and crush free speech.

Indeed, Internet licensing was considered by the Chinese last year and rejected for being too authoritarian, concerns apparently not shared by Microsoft.

Any proposal which allows the government to get a foot in the door on dictating who can and can’t use the Internet should be vigorously opposed because such a system would be wide open for abuse and pave the way for full licensing and top down control of the world wide web.

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com.

Portland Police Reopen Al Gore Sex Abuse Case

ABC

Portland, Oregon , police have decided to reopen the investigation into a 54-year-old masseuse’s allegations that former VicePresident Al Gore sexually assaulted her in his hotel room in 2006.

“The Portland Police Bureau has made the decision to re-open the case regarding the allegations brought forward against Mr. Al Gore,” a statement posted on the Portland Police Bureau’s website this evening said.

“Consistent with our policy regarding open investigations, the Police Bureau will not be commenting on any additional specifics regarding this case at this time,” it said.

A family spokeswoman said today that the Gores welcomed the new investigation.

“Further investigation into this matter will only benefit Mr. Gore,” Kalee Kreider said. “The Gores cannot comment on every defamatory, misleading, and inaccurate story generated by tabloids. Mr. Gore unequivocally and emphatically denied this accusation when he first learned of its existence three years ago. He stands by that denial.”

The allegations surfaced last week, when the National Enquirer reported on the story, but on June 23 authorities in Portland said they had investigated the woman’s complaints and that the case was closed for insufficient evidence.

The Multnomah County district attorney said the woman, who was not identified by name, had refused to cooperate with police after her attorney made the initial complaint six weeks after the alleged incident.

A spokesperson for the former vice president said then that the family had no comment on the case.

According to a 73-page “Confidential Special Report” made public by authorities on June 23, the “licensed massage therapist” stated she was summoned to a suite at the upscale Lucia Hotel at the request of a guest, where “during the course of this massage session Al Gore did sexually assault me in his room.”

In a detailed statement given to police more than two years after the alleged incident the woman described her surprise at arriving for the VIP massage appointment to find Al Gore drinking beer and opening his arms in a hug saying “Call Me Al.”

Listen to the therapist’s police testimony here.

Al and Tipper Gore Separate After 40 Years of Marriage

Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, are separating after 40 years of marriage.

The pair made the announcement to friends Tuesday in an e-mail obtained by Politico.

“We are announcing today that after a great deal of thought and discussion, we have decided to separate,” the couple wrote. “This is very much a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration. We ask for respect for our privacy and that of our family, and we do not intend to comment further.”

Gore’s rep, Kalee Kreider, confirmed the e-mail and separation. She declined to comment further.

The news comes two weeks after the couple marked their 40th wedding anniversary. The Gores first met in 1965 at his senior prom and appeared to be one of Washington’s most affectionate and happily married couples. They famously exchanged a lengthy kiss at the 2000 Democratic National Convention that helped transform his image, deserved or not, as dull and technocratic.   Read More…

U.S. asset managers: Obama could confiscate gold

Mineweb.com

Speaking at the FT Silver conference in London yesterday, lead-off speaker John Levin, HSBC Bank’s Managing Director, Global

Is Gold confiscation next to 'save the economy'?

Metals and Trading (HSBC is one of the world’s top precious metals traders and its vaults in the U.S. and Europe hold huge holdings of gold and silver bullion) recounted conversations with some of the U.S.’s top asset managers controlling massive amounts of capital asking if HSBC had the capacity in its vaults to store major gold purchases.  On being told that the bank’s U.S. vaults had sufficient space available he was told that they did not want their gold stored in the U.S.A. but preferably in Europe because they feared that at some stage the U.S. Administration might follow the path set by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 and confiscate all U.S. gold holdings as part of the country’s strategy in dealing with the nation’s economic problems.

While in Mineweb‘s view such a move is unlikely, one needs to bear in mind that President Obama is a keen follower of Roosevelt’s views and policies and that the very fact that some asset managers controlling huge volumes of money feel that such a move is possible is a significant factor – and one that is perhaps heightened by the huge amounts of money flowing into gold at the moment in both ETFs and bullion.

As a reminder to readers – Section 2 of Roosevelt’s Act read as follows: All persons are hereby required to deliver on or before May 1, 1933, to a Federal Reserve bank or a branch or agency thereof or to any member bank of the Federal Reserve System all gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates now owned by them or coming into their ownership on or before April 28, 1933, except the following:

(a) Such amount of gold as may be required for legitimate and customary use in industry, profession or art within a reasonable time, including gold prior to refining and stocks of gold in reasonable amounts for the usual trade requirements of owners mining and refining such gold.

(b) Gold coin and gold certificates in an amount not exceeding in the aggregate $100.00 belonging to any one person; and gold coins having recognized special value to collectors of rare and unusual coins.

(c) Gold coin and bullion earmarked or held in trust for a recognized foreign government or foreign central bank or the Bank for International Settlements.

(d) Gold coin and bullion licensed for the other proper transactions (not involving hoarding) including gold coin and gold bullion imported for the re-export or held pending action on applications for export license.

At that time of course, the dollar was exchangeable for gold at a set value ($20.67 an ounce) so compensation for such a move would have been easy to calculate.  Roosevelt subsequently revalued gold to the $35 level which stood for over 30 years.   Nowadays that kind of process would be a little more difficult, but perhaps not beyond the means of a government, already versed in printing large sums of money to try and re-stimulate the economy.  Perhaps a figure of the average gold price over a 3 month period at a certain date would meet an initial compensation valuation, but in today’s much more litigious society such a move might well fail anyway.

Indeed current economic analysis of the Roosevelt move suggests that it was not successful in helping drag the U.S. out of depression and indeed may have contributed to a recession within a depression – a pretty dire situation.  It probably took World War II to end the Great Depression.

Levin’s presentation – a trader’s view from the coal-face as he put it – contained much anecdotal material of interest and was a refreshing change from the usual analysts’ viewpoints.  More of that in a subsequent article.